Sykopathy and its related konsepts: another term we shud taboo?

Reeding Wikipedia’s entry on the subjekt very much gives me the impresion that this is another term that we shud do away with (taboo). I.e., we shud stop using it and use som other mor useful konsept. Primarily, two such konsepts has been popularized: anti-social personality disorder (aka. ASPD) and dissocial personality disorder.

Other reserchers seem to agree with my asesment. I serched a bit for relevant papers and found three, of wich i kud also get akses to one of them (eeven using my university akses):

John Gunn and Graham Robertson (1976). Psychopathic personality: a conceptual problem. Psychological Medicine, 6 , pp 631-634 doi:10.1017/S0033291700018274. PubMed.


“The concept of psychopathic personality is currently being called into question. Grendon prison has been established for the treatment of psychopaths. A recent study of Grendon prisoners enabled an examination of some characteristics commonly attributed to psychopaths to be carried out. It proved difficult to obtain good agreement in rating such phenomena as “conscientiousness”, “sexual deviation”, “impulsiveness”. Of ten reliable variables including “personal relationships”, “lying”, “alcohol problem”, only five bore a significant relationship one to another. It was concluded that whilst the term “psychopathic disorder” may be appropriate for a small handful of individuals the term is probably now used too widely and too loosely.”

Blackburn, R. (1988). “On moral judgements and personality disorders. The myth of psychopathic personality revisited.”. The British Journal of Psychiatry 153 (4): 505-12. doi:10.1192. PubMed.

Quote from the konklusion:

“It must be concluded that the current concept of psychopathic or antisocial personality remains ‘a mythical entity’. The taxonomic error of confounding different universes of discourse has resulted in a diagnostic category that embraces a variety of deviant personalities. Such a category is not a meaningful focus for theory and research, nor can it facilitate clinical communication and prediction. Indeed, a disorder defmed by past history of socially deviant behaviour is permanently fixed, and cannot provide a point of reference for clinical intervention. Such a concept is little more than a moral judgement masquerading as a clinical diagnosis.

Given the lack of demonstrable scientific or clinical utility of the concept, it should be discarded. This is not to arguethat sociallydeviant behaviouris unrelated to personality characteristics, but the nature of such a relationship is a question for theory and research. To define a disorder of personality in terms of socially deviant behaviour is to prejudge the issue. Our understanding of how the attributes of the person contribute to socially deviant or other problematic behaviour willonly progress when we have an adequate system for describing the universe of personality deviation. Focus on an ill-conceived category of psychopathic personality has merely served to distract attention from the development of such a system.”

Ogloff, JR. (2006), “Psychopathy/antisocial personality disorder conundrum.”. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Jun-Jul;40(6-7):519-28. PubMed.


“Psychopathy has traditionally been characterised as a disorder primarily of personality (particularly affective deficits) and, to a lesser extent, behaviour. Although often used interchangeably, the diagnostic constructs of psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder, and dissocial personality disorder are distinct. In this article, the relevant historical and contemporary literature concerning psychopathy is briefly reviewed. The diagnostic criteria for psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder, and dissocial personality disorder are compared. Consideration is given to the assessment, prevalence, and implications of psychopathy for violence risk and treatment efficacy. The DSM-IV-TR criteria for antisocial personality disorder, in particular, are largely behaviourally based. The ICD criteria for dissocial personality disorder, while paying more attention to affective deficits, also do not represent the broad personality and behavioural components of psychopathy. Since 1980, a great deal of research on these disorders has been conducted, using the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, Revised (PCL-R). The PCL-R assesses both personality (interpersonal and affective) and behavioural (lifestyle and antisocial) deficits. As such, the research and clinical implications of psychopathy, as operationalised by the PCL-R, cannot be readily extrapolated to the diagnoses of antisocial personality disorder and dissocial personality disorder. As currently construed, the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder grossly over-identifies people, particularly those with offence histories, as meeting the criteria for the diagnosis. For example, research shows that between 50% and 80% of prisoners meet the criteria for a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, yet only approximately 15% of prisoners would be expected to be psychopathic, as assessed by the PCL-R. As such, the characteristics and research findings drawn from the psychopathy research may not be relevant for those with antisocial or dissocial personality disorder. “

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